|seville orange cake|
Even more so when Rupert at o cozinheiro este algarve tells a charming story of just rustling up a lemon cake from the lemons in his garden. A few days later he writes of making marmalade from a glut of home-grown lemons, Which frankly I think is just boasting! Pah!
But before I was wallowing too much in my seasonal misery, a neighbour popped round with a bag of Seville oranges." I thought you might like to make some marmalade." she said. "Well you thought wrong," I said (it came out more politely than it sounds!) I am not very partial to marmalade (whoops, that rustling sound is my Scottish marmalade-loving mother turning in her grave) but I do like baking cakes. A lot.
Something vibrant but simple. I wanted sunshine on my tongue, but something not so unconventional that my neighbour, who is generous but very conservative in her food choices, would turn up her nose at a slice of citrusy cake delight. (Seriously this woman can pinpoint an alternative ingredient at four hundred yards and crinkle her nose in disgust!)
Now if you have never done this before, weigh out the ingredients the old fashioned way. Take the eggs and weigh them. Whatever they weigh, match their weight with equal measures of butter, sugar and flour. So for example, if the eggs weigh 250g, then 250g each of butter, sugar and flour. It guarantees good results every single time.
The sun came out and the cake was divine.
Seville orange cake
Skill level: Easy
Serves 6 - 8
250g butter, softened (at room temperature), plus extra for greasing (I use salted butter) - see directions
250g caster sugar (I use home-made vanilla sugar) - see directions
4 x medium-sized eggs - see directions
2 tsp finely grated orange zest
250g self-raising flour - see directions
6 tbsp freshly squeezed Seville orange juice (If using ordinary oranges that use two thirds fresh orange juice to one third fresh lime juice)
125g icing sugar, sifted
5 teaspoons freshly squeezed Seville orange juice
- Take a 22cm clip-sided round cake tin and lightly grease with butter. Line and grease the removable bottom with baking paper.
- Preheat the oven to 170C / Gas Mark 3.
- Weigh out 4 medium-sized eggs.Then weigh out an equal weight in butter, sugar and flour.
- Ensure that the butter is well softened but not melted - I use an electric whisk and whisk for about 2 minutes before adding the sugar.
- Add the sugar and cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale and the sugar has started to dissolved. The mixture will be both pale and less gritty. This will take about 5 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat well in between adding each egg. If the mixture looks as if it might be curdling then add some of the flour and continue to beat before adding more egg.
- Beat in the orange zest.
- Fold in the flour and ensure that it is mixed in.
- Mix in the orange juice.
- Pour or spoon the cake batter into the tin and bake on the middle shelf for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer, when inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean.
- If the cake looks as if it is browning too quickly, then cover loosely with a piece of foil.
- Leave the cake to cool, in the tin, on a wire cake rack.
- When cooled, unclip the tin and remove the sides, then the base.
- Carefully peel off the paper.
- Make the icing by mixing the sifted icing sugar with the orange juice until thick but spreadable. Spread over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Leave to set.
- Since the Seville orange season is somewhat fleeting (from December to early March), you can substitute the Seville oranges with standard oranges topped up with a teaspoon or two of fresh lime juice.